Days ahead of 'historic' snowstorm, DC grinds to a halt after an inch of snow

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Inch of Snow Causes DC Gridlock

In a harbinger of bad things to come, Washington, D.C., traffic became gridlocked on Wednesday evening as a small system passed by, dropping around an inch of snow as the city prepared for what could be a historic snowstorm later this week.

READ MORE: Washington, D.C., hasn't seen a blizzard like this in nearly 100 years

The snow on Wednesday evening, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter weather advisory for the Washington metro area, is a separate and far weaker storm system from what is forecast to hit the region beginning on Friday. That second, more potent storm, could dump 1 to 2 feet of snow in Washington.

It's quite possible that with media attention focused on the second more crippling storm, many people missed the advisory issued for Wednesday evening, and encountered "unexpected" snow during their evening commute. The snow fell on untreated roads causing slick, icy conditions across the area's highways and interstates that prompted accidents and delays on area roads.

Late rush hour traffic came to a standstill in many spots across the area.

Not even the president was immune, as his motorcade from Andrews Air Force Base to the White House was slowed by the conditions.

The area will get a break and a day to prepare on Thursday but will then get walloped by Friday's impending storm.

See more of the snowstorm in Washington:

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Washington D.C. grinds to a halt after an inch of snow
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Days ahead of 'historic' snowstorm, DC grinds to a halt after an inch of snow
Traffic is bumper to bumper and mostly at a stand-still on the outer loop of the I-495 Capital Beltway after snow fell Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in National Harbor, Md. As Washington prepares for this weekend's snowstorm, now forecast to reach blizzard conditions, a small clipper system pushed through the region Wednesday night causing massive delays and issues on the roads. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A woman walks through steam in a snow storm as she crosses the street in Washington, DC on January 20, 2016. / AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: The first measurable snowfall is seen around the White House January 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama had to motorcade back to the White House from Andrews Joint Base due to the wintery weather. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Ernestine Tyus puts the last item on her list, a snow shovel, into the back of her van after loading up on supplies ahead of a potentially historic winter storm, on January, 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Drivers confer outside of their cars after a collision on January 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. The region received a light snowfall ahead of the expected January 22, 2016 blizzard. / AFP / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man uses a snow blower to clear the sidewalk of snow in Washington, DC on January 20, 2016. / AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman crosses the street as it snows in Washington, DC on January 20, 2016. / AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Hoyt Scott, left, rings up a few bags of snowmelt for customer Stephanie Lyon, right, in WS Jenks hardware store as citizens seek snow fighting supplies ahead of a potentially historic winter storm, on January, 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Traffic is bumper to bumper and mostly at a stand-still on the outer loop of the I-495 Capital Beltway after snow fell Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in National Harbor, Md. As Washington prepares for this weekend's snowstorm, now forecast to reach blizzard conditions, a small clipper system pushed through the region Wednesday night causing massive delays and issues on the roads. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A driver is seen outside of his car after a collision on January 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. The region received a light snowfall ahead of the expected January 22, 2016 blizzard. / AFP / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man bikes on a road through the snow in Washington, DC on January 20, 2016. / AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Sleigh riders hit the hill during a snow storm on the House side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 22, 2016. The storm is expected to bring up to two feet in the DC metro area by Sunday. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A man shovels snow off the roof of his porch during a snowstorm in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: A man uses a snow blower to clear a sidewalk as another spreads salt in front of the shuttered Georgia Ave.-Petworth metro station on January 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Over a foot of snow has already fallen in the city in the past 24 hours, in what experts say could be a record-breaking storm. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: A Metro employee digs out his stuck snow plow near the Georgia Ave.-Petworth metro station on January 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Over a foot of snow has already fallen in the city in the past 24 hours, in what experts say could be a record-breaking storm. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: Plastic flowers peek through falling snow in the Parkview neighborhood on January 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Over a foot of snow has already fallen in the city in the past 24 hours, in what experts say could be a record-breaking storm. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
A statue is seen in front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, as snow continues to fall on January 22, 2016. A monster blizzard threatening the US East Coast slammed into Washington on January 22, blanketing the nation's capital in snow as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter, warning the worst was yet to come. AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Garrett Finnell, left, his sister, Karalyn Finnell, left center, of Oklahoma City, OK and their cousin, Amanda Finnell, center, of Washington, DC work on building a snowman near the White House on Friday January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A large snow event was being predicted for Washington, DC area. (Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Women walk on a snow-covered Connecticut Avenue, a normally busy throughfare, in Washington, DC on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People cross a snow bank to get to the sidewalk on a residential street in Washington, DC on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Additional reporting by Andrew Freedman.

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